Archives For Money

By Eric on August 19, 2014 6

The most frequent personal finance struggle that I hear (by a long shot) is this… “I know that I need a budget, but I just don’t know where to begin.” Followed by similar comments of “It’s too complicated” or “I’ve tried before, but couldn’t stick to it.”

Budgeting & Planning for Emergencies Workshop

Come learn about budgeting & planning for emergencies!

If any of these phrases resonates with you, I’d like to tell you about a live event I’m co-hosting in September with a few other awesome people. Erin Smith from Restoration Coaching and I are co-hosting the event while my good friend Justin Bennett with Strong Tower Consulting presents a presentation proven to help you create a spending plan you can stick with.

If you are in the Des Moines area and want to start taking control of your finances, I’d love to see you at the event. Details and registration are available here.

P.S. If you are not in the Des Moines area, is this something you’d like to see as an online event? We’re trying to gauge interest for future events like this, so speak up in the comments!

By Eric on August 7, 2014 5

The internet is flooded with opinions on how you should handle your money. The opinions vary among the big topics such as debt, budgets, savings, credit cards, and consumer loans. If you don’t know where you stand on handling your finances, you’ll quickly find conflicting views.

Which is why I thought I would share some of my favorite personal finance sites. As a disclaimer, this in no way means that I agree with 100% of the views of any of these sites, but some come closer than others, for sure. The important thing is to find the truth and then be able to dismiss information that is off base from time to time.

Recently, set out to determine the top 50 social influencers in personal finance and wealth. I wanted to share the list and whom I follow, plus a few others that didn’t make the cut.

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By Eric on July 15, 2014 2

One of the hardest parts of getting rolling with a budget is understanding where to put money that you’ve saved during a particular timeframe once that timeframe is over. We didn’t spend the money, but need it to be accounted for later. Budgeting and saving should go hand-in-hand, but can be confusing at times.

For example, you saved $300 for Vacation this month, but now it’s time to start the next budget and you’re not sure what to do with that money to ensure it goes toward Vacation and doesn’t get spent at the grocery store before it’s needed.

Saving for Vacation?

And if you’re doing this for multiple categories and have a few different savings accounts it can get very confusing quickly. Which sucks, because budgeting is very simple, but can be complicated by banks who try to make you think you’re budgeting, when in reality, you’re just looking in the rear view mirror and seeing your spending history.

Let’s start with why a budget is better than just looking at your bank statement…

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By Eric on July 1, 2014 10

A few weeks ago, at the start of a two week heat wave in Iowa, we started having problems with the air conditioning system in our minivan. And by problems, I mean it was dying a slow death.

Snookie's Malt Shop


I basically only drive the minivan when we’re headed places together as a family. Otherwise, Kelsey is the primary driver and hauls herself and Rooney to and from work/daycare. Kelsey jokes that I have supersonic senses, because I tend to have a weird heightened observation when something seems out of place. For example, I walked in the house after church this past Sunday and could instantly smell that Kelsey’s straightener had been left on.

Other times the situation is a bit more obvious, I just know that it’s not a good thing. Like when the rear brakes were going out on the minivan. I got in the van, put it in reverse (with my foot slightly on the brake), stopped, looked at Kelsey and said “How long has that noise been going on?” Kelsey replies, “Oh, yeah… I meant to tell you, it’s been doing that for awhile.” Yeah… at that point all you could hear was metal on metal! Yikes.

So when I hopped in the van this time, the air system was making a funny noise, and we had a similar conversation as above. Ugh! Car problems are annoying, but having a DIY spirit as I do (and a Dad who used to be a mechanic), I called him up to see what my options were. “I don’t know how to fix A/C systems, son.” Dang it! He is human after all…

Into the shop the van went for an assessment of the damage. $900 was the damage and the kicker was that one of the parts was on back order, and it would be  a couple weeks before the part was in. Gulp… It was pushing 90 every day and with Iowa’s humidity, it was going to be a rough few weeks for the Williams family. And by rough, I mean a total first world problem where we had to drive around town with the windows down.

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By Eric on June 26, 2014 5

I’ve had many great coaches throughout my life, mostly on the athletic field. Coaches who encouraged, motivated, challenged, and taught me how to be the best that I could be in the respective sport, or classroom. I’ve also had a few bad coaches whose styles gained them no respect.

If you’ve had a great teacher, mentor or coach that’s helped you do something you couldn’t otherwise have done on your own, you know the importance of having someone take the time to show you how to do something, teach you something you don’t know, and share wisdom and insights to propel you toward your goals.

Since starting cleaning up our own financial mess, and figuring this personal finance stuff out, I’ve wanted to accomplish two things with what I’ve learned…

  1. Be a good steward of the gifts I’ve been given.
  2. Help others do the same.

While not perfect in either of these things, I’ve definitely found a passion that hasn’t gone away. I’ve been writing about personal finance tips among many other things that are important to me for years now.

So, I finally went to Nashville and got some world class training from Dave Ramsey’s team. And while I was there, I got to meet some other awesome people with a similar mission as me and even got to meet Dave Ramsey himself!


Having a plan, and working toward good stewardship of our finances has done so much for our marriage, family, and future, and has provided a freedom that I can’t help but share with others.

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